While there are numerous college music scholarships available, many of them are very small, in terms of the award amount, considering the level of talent that you must have, and the work that you must do in order to apply for them. However, there are some very important scholarships for music that you should not overlook if you are serious about attending college on music scholarships.
Start by applying to the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. This organization awards more than $3 million annually in music scholarships and awards to talented students, and instrumental music and voice are both covered, as well as other performing arts. You must be either seventeen or eighteen years old to be eligible, however.
You need to be aware of various church music scholarships. While some of these scholarships are denomination related, such as the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts Memorial Scholarship, in the amount of $1000, available, some are not. Some are career oriented, meaning that you plan to pursue a career or devotion to providing or participating in a church music program, such as the Louise Miller Scholarship for music, available through the American Guild of Organists – Greater Bridgeport Chapter in the amount of $2000.
If you will be choosing music as your major in college, make sure that you check into major specific music scholarships, such as the Gretchen E. Van Roy Music Education Scholarship at the National Federation of Music Clubs. Make sure that you check out additional scholarships in music offered through the NFMC to ensure that you have applied for all of the NFMC scholarships for which you are eligible.
There are many state specific music scholarships available. This means, in most cases, that you must be a resident of that state in order to apply, often regardless of where you will be attending college. Some of the more notable state specific scholarships for music include the Archibald Rutledge Scholarship in South Carolina, available through the South Carolina Department of Education in the amount of $4000, the Iowa Scholarship for the Arts, in the amount of $2000, the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award, in the amount of $3000, and the James M. and Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship Fund available for music students in Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, in the amount of $2000.
If you will be in the marching band at the college that you will be attending, note that many college level bands do have music scholarship programs for their members, although not all members may be eligible, and different scholarship programs will have different eligibility requirements. Some will additionally require that there is an actual financial need, as well as actual talent.
Additionally, if you want a music scholarship, you should check with your high school music or band teacher, the music department at the college you plan to attend, local organizations, such as the Elks club, your church and other local churches, your state Department of Education, and all state and national music organizations. Also be on the lookout for music competitions that offer college music scholarships as prizes, including instrument and vocal contests.